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Luang Prabang Laos – Lao PDR – Tourism, Travel Tips, Reviews – Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Laos History – Quick Look

The history of Luang Prabang is far less described than many other places. Understanding the different turns of events also becomes harder due to the fact that places and regions changed names. However, here’s an attempt at explaining what has happened to the city we now know as a tiny slight of heaven.

In 698 AD, the city of Muang Sua (currently known as Luang Prabang) was founded by a Thai prince, Khun Lo. Skipping a century of his predecessors ruling, we touch down in the second half of the eighth century when the Nan-Chaos (unsure of who they really were) took over from the Thais. After that, all is well, but only for a short bit before the Khmer advanced from their position in the south up north and took over.

A whole lot of back and forward between rulers took place, but most noteworthy was in 1353 when Lan Xang was founded. Lan Xang means the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, also know as million elephants under white parasol. Luang Prabang became the capital of the newly founded empire but was then known as Xieng Dong Xieng Thong, the Thai name for Luang Prabang.

Moving along in history, 1560 was the year when the ruler decided to move the capital to Vientiane. This is said to have been due to a fear of a Burmese invasion.

In 1893, Laos became a French protectorate and the French made Luang Prabang the royal residence of Laos. It hard to understand which city was the capital after the second world war due to many conflicting events. For example, in 1945 a nationalistic group claimed Luang Prabang to be the capital but they quickly got subdued. Meanwhile, Vientiane was occupied and liberated in turns in a confusing mess until 1975 when Pathet Lao communists seized power and finally freed Vientiane to be the capital of Laos.
There, end of story: since 1975, Luang Prabang is only one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Not the capital of Laos though.

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